Archived post

This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.

« The End of Free Trade…for a while | Home | “I think I made a friend.” »


Lone Pine Rising

sunpine.jpg

In The Dartmouth this morning, Jacob Baron ‘10 writes that the election of petition Trustee Stephen Smith gives the lie to the tawdry conceit of a “radical minority cabal.” Far from a cabal, support for the reform movement grows with each and every election. The arguments are fleshed out; bulwarked with hard numbers; become more attractive.

In this new model, no one can pretend that the €œcabal € of alumni unhappy with the College ‘s current direction is marginal, sinister or small. Smith garnered the support of an absolute majority of voting alumni — 55 percent — running on a platform highly critical of many aspects of the current management. That is not a coincidence. The movement that elected Rogers, Todd Zywicki €˜88 and Peter Robinson €˜79 — and that defeated the Alumni Constitution — is stronger than ever.

That ‘s what it is — a movement. Notwithstanding the Dartmouth Editorial Board ‘s claim that Smith €œrefused to disclose the sources of his funding € ( €œPull Back the Curtain, € May 18), he did make a disclosure. On March 6, he wrote on his blog that €œliterally hundreds of alumni have donated to my campaign. Some have written checks; others have provided cash or in-kind donations; still others, volunteer assistance of one sort or another. € Surely some donated more than others — every movement has its leaders. But there is no €œclose-knit cadre € to speak of.

The focus in offical quarters, as Jacob observes, has been to criticize the ‘politicization’ of the process. But there are serious issues to be debated at Dartmouth. When the American republic was founded, ‘politicization’ was its express purpose. The basic idea is that pretenses like indirect representation, communal decision making, and all-is-well-ism are ultimately not healthy for any organization. They must be replaced with representation, leadership, and self criticsm. The reform movement at Dartmouth embodies these ideas; its opponents embody the old-fashioned way of doing things.

You see a clear manifestation of the old way in the way the administration waged its campaign. An ‘Ask Dartmouth’ website bloomed into life, jovially answering questions about Stephen Colbert and the bell tower, and skirting nimbly around questions about bureaucratic bloat. An official candidate premised his entire campaign around stopping a “hijack[ing]” of the Board and sent 66,000 shiny hypercolored pamphlets to alumni for the purpose. Incessant questions about the provenance of Stephen Smith’s mailing list ignored the fact that he used the list to send two substantive and rigorously detailed letters to alumni laying out concrete examples and mismanagement and proposing fixes. And of course there was the attack on Stephen Smith’s religious beliefs, which speaks for itself.

They are a picture of crisis and denial. Happily, acceptance usually comes next.

Best-of-Logo-2014_dartblog.gif

Featured posts

  • August 14, 2013
    Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
    History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
  • June 25, 2013
    Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
    Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
  • October 18, 2009
    When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
    We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
  • October 9, 2009
    D Afraid of a Little Competish
    So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
  • September 4, 2009
    How Regents Should Reign
    As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
  • August 29, 2009
    Election Reform Study Committee
    If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…

Dartblog Specials

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Help, Pecuniarily

Please note

This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.

All content appearing at Dartblog.com should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.

Advertisement



admin

Calendar

June 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Search

Archives

Links